It’s been awhile since I have posted a new blog and today seems like a perfect day to get back on the wagon. Last week, on Valentines Day none-the-less, I received the unfortunate news that I had not been accepted into Indiana University’s Graduate Program. It really put a damper on my mood but didn’t ruin our Valentine’s Day festivities. Part of me was really hurt that I didn’t get in but there was a small part of me that was relieved that I didn’t get in. As much as I really want my Ph.D. the idea of going back to school and being even more in debt seemed daunting. So what if I don’t have a doctorate degree? I have a great boyfriend, two adorable dogs, a master’s degree from one of the top universities in the U.S. and am on a great career path. I still haven’t lost my fire for history and instead am looking into different ways I can still keep that fire burning. I thought I would take down the time to write about how I came to love history.
There has always been a part of me that really enjoyed history when I was younger. It was by far my favorite subject along with Science and English. I would actually read ahead in history textbooks for fun, like a big nerd. I loved documentaries and any movie that had any type of historical significance even if it wasn’t true. I would take the time to research the actual events afterward, which was kind of hard since the internet didn’t really take off until I was older. I always looked forward to history class, no matter how boring the teacher was or the subject matter I was all ears.
When high school rolled around, I was lucky enough to be entered into AP English and History courses. Originally, I found myself in regular old English class but Mr. Kellow, our freshmen English teacher, pushed me to work into getting into AP classes. The next three years, I was introduced to a more college-level way of teaching both subjects and by my senior year I was enrolled in a 300 level English course at the local college. It was around this same time that high-schoolers are pushed to figure out their plans beyond high school. Where do you want to go to college? What do you want to study? What is going to be your future career?
To put it simply, I had no fucking clue.
If I had known back then that you didn’t have to everything figured out straight out of high school, I probably would have went down a different path. I knew that I loved history and wanted to study it more but anyone who studies history inevitably is asked “And what do you plan to do with that degree?”. Adults made it sound like a degree in history was useless, so I of course had no idea of the possibilities out there.
When I graduated high school, I was 100% set on being a lawyer. Could you imagine little old me standing in a court room, arguing that some guy didn’t murder his wife even though it was very obvious that he did? I can barely introduce myself to new people, how was a I going to talk to a whole jury of strangers? Luckily I never had to figure that out. On my first day of college, as I sat in my first classroom, a bitch of a lady (whose name I don’t remember) squashed my dreams. At IUPUI, incoming freshmen are grouped together into three classes that they would all be a part of. It was to help with the transition and to make friends. While I am still friends with several of the girls from that group on Facebook, I don’t even think I saw them again after our group classes ended. But that’s not the point! Each group had career/college adviser attached to them. These people were supposed to help you figure out what you wanted to accomplish at IUPUI and set you on that path. Well, as I mentioned, our lady was a bitch. As we went around and introduced ourselves, she made snide comments about our intended paths. When it came to myself, I expressed quite firmly that I was pre-law. The bitch laughed and said there is no such thing as pre-law and said most freshmen think that but most never make it. This bitch, who is supposed to help us and encourage us did help me that day, she encouraged me right out of pre-law.
A semester into college and all my future plans crumbled. It wasn’t until I took my first history course that I realized where I belonged. I dove into the history department head on. I met with Dr. Morgan and set up all of my plans to graduate with a degree in European History. By my junior year, I added a minor in Classical Studies and found my history niche in Ancient History. As I worked towards graduation, I lost count how many times family members snidely asked what I planned on doing with my degree. “What can you possibly do with a degree in History?” “Are you sure that is what you want to study?” “What kind of money does someone make in that field?”
Simple answer, fuck off. I hated justifying myself to everyone who asked. Don’t worry about my future cause I (somewhat) had a plan. I knew that to get any where with my degree I would need to go to graduate school. While I loved studying history, I also loved studying historical objects. Enter Museum Studies! Did you know there is a place where you can work with history on a daily basis that involves the chance to touch a piece of history? Well neither did I until I started applying to grad programs.
I applied to a variety of history and museum studies. I was accepted into one of each. I could either move to Massachusetts and get my MA/PhD in History or I could stay in Indianapolis and work online with Johns Hopkins University for an MA in Museum Studies. Now around this time, I met a boy named Tyler. Tyler doesn’t know it but he did play a part in my decision, though a minor one. The biggest factor was just the greatness of one school over the other. So after a long lost of pros and cons, including a budding romance, I chose to stay local and get a MA in Museum Studies.
I have yet to regret the decision that I made. While I would love to continue my study of history, and will eventually, I would have never learned about the wondrous world of museums. I would have never found my current position at the Indiana Historical Society and I wouldn’t be on the path that I am now. I would have never entered into my whirlwind romance with Tyler and I would have never gotten Percy. I am going to continue my love of history in a couple of different projects and will hopefully find a museum position in that future as a curator. Overall, I am pretty happy with the way my academic life has turned out so far and, in the future, will continue expanding on that life.